Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Heart protein could be used to repair damage caused by heart attack

25.11.2004


A protein that the heart produces during its development could be redeployed after a heart attack to help the organ repair itself, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have found.



The mouse-study findings could eventually lead to new treatments for heart disease in humans and could even change the way healthcare providers respond to people suffering from heart attacks. The research appears today’s edition of Nature and is available online. "If the protein has a similar effect in humans as it does in mice, the impact by sheer volume is great – nearly 1 million people have heart attacks every year just in the United States," said Dr. Deepak Srivastava, professor of molecular biology and pediatrics and the study’s senior author. "The delivery is very simple and avoids many of the problems of using stem cells."

While more common in adults, heart disease is the leading noninfectious cause of death in children younger than one year. Heart disease in children is usually caused by developmental abnormalities. The protein, Thymosin beta-4, is expressed by embryos during the heart’s development. It encourages the migration of heart cells and affects those cells’ survivability. The new findings show that the protein prevents cell death after an experimentally-induced heart attack and limits the degree of scar tissue formation. Thymosin beta-4 is already used in clinical trials to promote wound healing on the skin. As a result, the protein could enter clinical trials for treating the heart in the very near future, said Dr. Srivastava, co-director of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Center at UT Southwestern.


During their study, UT Southwestern researchers discovered that Thymosin beta-4 works in conjunction with two other proteins to promote survival and migration of heart muscle cells by activating the protein Akt/Protein Kinase B. Akt/PKB, when active, promotes cell survival.

After studying the activity of cells in culture, researchers created a mouse model by tying off the coronary artery of 58 adult mice, simulating a heart attack. Half of the mice were given Thymosin beta-4 systemically, directly into the heart, or through both routes immediately after the ligation. The other half were given control injections of saline immediately after the artery was tied off. Researchers found that Thymosin beta-4 caused fewer cells in the affected part of the heart to die, resulting in improved function even several weeks after the heart attack. Researchers now believe that Thymosin beta-4 changes cell metabolism to create stronger heart muscle cells that can resist the low oxygen conditions after a heart attack.

The next step, Dr. Srivastava said, is to determine the most effective dose, the optimal time to administer Thymosin beta-4 and how long after an attack the protein can be given to be effective.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved were Dr. Ildiko Bock-Marquette, a postdoctoral researcher in pediatrics and co-lead author; Ankur Saxena, graduate student research assistant in the genetics and development program and co-lead author; Dr. J. Michael DiMaio, assistant professor of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery; Michael White, a research assistant in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery; and Glenn Adams IV, a research technician in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the American Heart Association and the Donald W. Reynolds Clinical Cardiovascular Research Center funded the study.

Staishy Bostick Siem | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie

nachricht The dark side of cichlid fish: from cannibal to caregiver
20.04.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>